Mumbai: Good buying in banking stocks after Parliament passed the Banking Bill and demand for IT and auto shares boosted market sentiment, with BSE benchmark Sensex rising 111 points to close at a nearly two-week high on Wednesday.
The 30-share Sensex resumed higher at 19,429.91 and shot up further to day's high at 19,516.02 before ending at 19,476.00, a gain of 111.25 points or 0.57 percent. This is highest closing since 19,486.80 on December 6.
23 stocks including HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, RIL, ONGC, TCS, Infosys and Sun Pharma ended with gains in Sensex pack.
Similarly, the NSE 50-share Nifty also rose by 32.80 points or 0.56 percent to settle at 5,929.60.
Brokers said banks hogged the limelight after the banking Bill was passed yesterday, paving way for foreign investments in the sector and establishment of new private banks.
However, SBI and ICICI Bank shares closed lower after a spate of profit-booking.
"Auto, Healthcare, Metal, IT and Oil & Gas and Technology indices were all up by more than a percent," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio.
IT shares gained on hopes that a solution to the US fiscal cliff issue would improve outlook for the sector's key export market. "In addition, government is set to announce incentives to cushion decline in exports owing to a weak overseas demand," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.
Shares of NBFCs including Edelweiss, Religare Enterprises, M&M Financial, Shriram Transport Finance, IDFC and L&T Finance Holdings gained. Many NBFCs may consider promoting a bank (if allowed) at a holding company level and not convert, BofA Merrill Lynch said.
Overall, the market breadth continued to remain positive as 1,651 scrips gained among 3,105 shares, thereby making investors richer by Rs 50,000 crore.
Analysts said European markets were trading higher in the early trade following a credit-rating upgrade for Greece, rise in US home-builder confidence and progress in US budget talks.
Asian stocks also ended higher. Key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan were up by 0.06-0.57 percent while indices in China and Indonesia were down 0.01-0.85 percent respectively.
Japanese stocks extended this week's gains triggered by a landslide election victory for the Liberal Democratic Party in Sunday's general elections that sparked fresh optimism for the introduction of deflation-fighting policies.
The Nikkei 225 average was up 2.39 percent.
In Europe, key benchmark indices in the UK, France and Germany were also trading higher by 0.17-0.49 percent.
Moving to the local market, 23 scrips out of the Sensex pack ended higher while only seven finished lower.
Major gainers were Sun Pharma (3.44 percent), Tata Motors (3.29 percent), ONGC (3.16 percent), Wipro (2.55 percent), Jindal Steel (2.36 percent), Maruti Suzuki (2.36 percent), Tata Steel (2.27 percent), Bajaj Auto (2.24 percent), Hero Moto (1.97 percent), TCS (1.81 percent), Cipla (1.78 percent), HDFC Bank (1.74 percent), Hindalco (1.49 percent), BHEL (1.46 percent), Coal India (1.26 percent), Sterlite Ind (1.23 percent), Infosys (1.09 percent) and RIL (1.01 percent).
Among losers, HDFC dropped by 1.83 percent, followed by L&T (1.36 percent) and ITC (1.18 percent).
In sectoral indices, the BSE-Auto rose by 1.84 percent, followed by the BSE-Healthcare (1.58 percent), the BSE-Metal (1.49 percent), the BSE-IT (1.33 percent), the BSE-Oil&Gas (1.30 percent) and the BSE-Teck (1.05 percent).
The total turnover fell to Rs 2,518.75 crore from Rs 3,065.71 crore on Wednesday.